An Intentional 40 Days


As a perfectionist, I live my days believing that perfect is something that can be achieved. Of course, perfect never comes to fruition. In its place, is real life. Real beauty, pain, joy, frustration, fun, and a lot of imperfection. The chase for perfect is persistent, however, especially in times of hardship. When I come up short, I feel nothing but frustration. I cannot see the forest through the trees: I do not accept that the hard times are necessary. According to this personality survey, I am an ENFJ, “the Protagonist.” I am a protagonist, indeed. When situations can be improved upon, I want to affect that change with all of my being. I go crazy thinking about how much better daily life would be if only it were fixed.

Chasing perfect change is an impossible task. So, I’m taking a step back to look around and actually do something to affect positive change. The first problem? It’s me.

For the first time, I was aware of the start of Lent. I usually miss the start, and think too late that it would’ve been smart for me to take advantage of a season that encourages internal evaluation and connection with God. I think it’s smart to deny yourself of bad habits and actively do something healthier in its place. I am not Catholic, which is why I have never participated before. The difference for this year is that I happen to follow a blog written by someone who is Catholic, and her writing about the season of Lent prompted me to take a long, hard, overdue look at myself. I’m working through the next 40 days by being more intentional with my thoughts. Why do I believe what I believe about myself? Why do I place so much weight on the hours of my day? Why am I not taking action to improve my situation, and choosing to complain and simply hope for improvement instead? Why do I never pray in those moments of frustration? Why am I so very, very tired?

So, my goal is to walk through the next 40 days intentionally. This looks like praying through frustration instead of just leaving myself at “URGH.” It means taking a walk on my lunch break to process my feelings, analyze my situation, and come up with some new possibilities. It means finally writing this blog- something that has been in the works for several years.

I have my end goal in mind and can visualize it perfectly. My hope is that I will get 40 steps closer to the person I have been designed to be during this season of Lent. I can feel that I am off right now: not connected to God or to myself, and so I also hope to remedy this with a daily dose of time alone to stop, think, and pray. I plan to observe myself and notice my surroundings, recording the events along the way. There will be a 10-day compilation of my daily notes here on the blog.

I know that I am already on a journey, so when I take the time to record it I will map out my life.


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